Saturday, March 26, 2005

Why does Iran want Cruise Missiles? explores Iran's reason for purchasing the 12 X-55 cruise missiles (also known as Kh-55 or AS-15) that Ukraine had illegally sold them.

The author takes a careful look at Iran's options but most disturbing is the possibilty of a ship board launch nuclear tipped missile. But a ship board launch capability would require modifications to its merchant fleet. Iran has the skills needed:
Iran Shipbuilding and Offshore Industries Complex [ISOICO] is a qualified Iranian company, active as shipbuilder and shiprepairer of different types of vessels and contractor of offshore structures. It operates from a production premises on the Persian Gulf (37 km west Bandar Abbas City), shipping to any location offshore or onshore. ...

ISOICO shipyard is capable of constructing any type of vessel up to about 4 x 80,000 DWT per year on its existing building berths mainly bulk carrier, containership and oil product carrier using advance technology, which after accomplishing the development in process (i.e. two Dry Docks) the constructing capability will increase for the vessel up to about 2 x 300,000 DWT VLCC or 2 x 140,000 m3 LNG carrier per year in addition to the existing capacity.